How to Safely Clean Your Paintings

How to Safely Clean Your Paintings

Artwork brings character and personality to your home. But over the years, accumulated grime and dust can prevent a painting’s true character from showing. Paintings are very delicate and it’s easy to damage them. If you aren’t sure whether you can clean your painting safely, or if the paint has begun to flake off, you should bring it to a professional art restorer for an expert cleaning. Otherwise, you can refer to the following steps.

Take the painting out of its frame.

If it’s possible to remove the painting without damaging it, go ahead and do so. If you need to remove any nails, keep track of which nails go in which holes. This will let you put the frame back together exactly as it was. Next, lay the painting on a clean, flat surface and examine it for signs of damage. If you do notice any damage, it’s best to bring it to a professional restorer.

Brush the painting gently.

Take a previously unused, very soft shaving brush. Gently brush the dust and grime off the painting, working methodically from one side to the other. Don’t use any more force than necessary, and stop immediately if you notice paint flaking off.

Remove any remaining grime.

You may achieve satisfactory results with brushing alone. But if any grime remains, you might be tempted to resort to more aggressive cleaning techniques. First, know that you should never use any cleaning products on a painting, and never apply water to an acrylic painting. If you have an oil painting, make sure the paint has completely dried before cleaning it. It may take months for an oil painting to fully cure. If you’re sure it’s dried, you can slightly moisten a clean, soft cloth and use it to gently work out the grime.

You can find the perfect artwork for your home at the Western Art Association & Goodey Gallery. They host an annual art auction in Ellensburg, WA, along with rotating shows in the gallery. If you have any questions, you can call their office at (509) 962-2934.